The Challenge Faced by Black Women Accusing Black Men
When Meredith Watson decided to publicly accuse Virginia’s lieutenant governor of raping her, she knew she would face a backlash — most women who accuse powerful men of sexual assault do.
But she also feared that as a black woman, she would face added scrutiny because the prominent politician she named, Justin E. Fairfax, was African-American, too.
“You’re not supposed to betray your race,” Ms. Watson, 39, said in her first interview since she accused Mr. Fairfax last month of assaulting her when they were in college together at Duke University nearly two decades ago. Mr. Fairfax has denied her allegations.
The #MeToo movement has brought into the open the challenges all women face when they say they have been sexually assaulted. Their accusations are disbelieved. Their motives are questioned. Their pasts are examined.